St. Joseph the Worker Church







Easter, our Greatest Feast Day

Easter is the greatest feast in our Catholic calendar. On this Sunday, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. For Catholics, Easter Sunday comes at the end of 40 days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving known as Lent. Through spiritual struggle and self-denial, we have prepared ourselves to die spiritually with Christ on Good Friday, the day of His Crucifixion, so that we can rise again with Him in new life on Easter.

The Easter Vigil celebrated on Holy Saturday night is called by our US Bishops the "Mother of All Vigils." Easter Sunday, then, is the greatest of all Sundays, and Easter Time is the most important of all liturgical times. Easter culminates with Christ's Ascension to the Father and sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Church. There are 50 days of Easter from today to Pentecost. It should be characterized, above all, by the joy of glorified life and the victory over death, expressed most fully in the great resounding cry of Christians: Alleluia! All faith flows from faith in the resurrection.

It is most appropriate on this Day of Resurrection that the First Reading comes from the Acts of the Apostles and recounts part of a sermon made by St. Peter. Hippolytus of Rome, a Third Century theologian, gave Peter the title of "Apostle of Apostles." We recognize Peter as the first Pope. Peter was one of the first Apostles and was present and witnessed events with Jesus, including the Transfiguration. Not only did he play a role on this Easter Sunday (as recounted in today's Gospel), but he initially was the foremost evangelist revealing to people the divinity and resurrection of Jesus.

Peter opens his sermon today by saying, "You know what happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John (the Baptist) preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power." Peter no doubt gave this sermon scores of times to untold numbers of people. It is important coming from Peter because he was a personal witness to Jesus' ministry and especially His Resurrection. In today's reading Peter also says, "This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible...to us, the wit- nesses chosen by God in advance." Personal and firsthand witness is the most powerful way to evangelize. Each of us is called to evangelize through our Baptism and by how we live our lives.

Our Gospel last week was the powerful reading of the Passion of Christ. Although the Gospel this week is not as long or as comprehensive, it is equally powerful, especially for what it means to us as Christians. It is the retelling of the Resurrection of Christ and the finding of the empty tomb. St. John's perspective is important to us for he is most likely the "other disciple" in today's Gospel Reading. As was the case with the Passion, there is so much in this reading on which we might focus.

Having indicated that nonetheless, it might be of value to concentrate on a couple things. We may not always find humor in the Word, but it is there. For example, John is humble enough not to mention he is the other disciple, but at the same time he is competitive enough to make it clear that he outran Peter. Yet when it came to entering the tomb, he was hesitant and waited for Peter to enter first. The combination of these two decisions tells us a lot about both Peter and John. Throughout Holy Scripture St. Peter is somewhat spontaneous and often acts and thinks before thinking. St. John, on the other hand tends to stop and think; this may have been one of those occasions.

Having indicated that nonetheless, it might be of value to concentrate on a couple things. We may not always find humor in the Word, but it is there. For example, John is humble enough not to mention he is the other disciple, but at the same time he is competitive enough to make it clear that he outran Peter. Yet when it came to entering the tomb, he was hesitant and waited for Peter to enter first. The combination of these two decisions tells us a lot about both Peter and John. Throughout Holy Scripture St. Peter is somewhat spontaneous and often acts and thinks before thinking. St. John, on the other hand tends to stop and think; this may have been one of those occasions.

Many Apostles were not convinced of the resurrection until they experienced Jesus in reality. John saw and believed. The word translated as "saw" is the Greek word eiden. That means much more than "saw." It means "to understand and to perceive the significance of something." Do we share John's understanding and belief? We should; this is Easter.







PROTECTOR OF THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH



PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH IN TRIALS OF THE CHURCH

"To you, O Blessed Joseph, we come in our trials, and having asked the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently ask your patronage also.

Through the Sacred bond of charity which united you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the fatherly love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you to look graciously upon the beloved inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by His blood, and to aid us in our necessities with your power and strength.

O most provident guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ. Most beloved Father, dispel the evil of falsehood and sin.

Our most mighty protector, graciously assist us from heaven in our struggle with the powers of darkness. And just as once you saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God's Holy Church from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity.

Shield each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your help, we may be able to live a virtuous life, to die a holy death, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen."



Legion of Mary Invites you to pray the rosary.

You are welcome to join us on Sundays.

We pray the Rosary every Sunday after the 8:00 am Mass in English and after the 11:30 am Mass in Spanish.

If you are not able to pray with us perhaps you can send us your prayer intentions. Send to: gloria@stjosephtheworkerchurch.org. We will gladly include them in our prayers.